Every thoroughbred horse registered with the Jockey Club must be named by February of its second year. Horses not intended for racing or breeding are not required to have names.
All horses born in a given year are assigned the birth date of January 1 for easier accounting. Thus, a horse "born" on Jan. 1, 2015 must have a name assigned by February 2016. The owner submits a list of six names in order of preference to the Jockey Club, which assigns a name from this list. Owners must submit their horses to DNA testing to confirm parentage and thoroughbred status.